BC Back in Frozen Four, Top Lowell, 4-3
Gaudreau Records 8 Points in Regional Wins
CHN Staff Report
WORCESTER, Mass. Boston College defeated Hockey East rival Massachusetts-Lowell 4-3 in Sunday's Northeast Regional final to advance to the 2014 Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
The Eagles will play East Regional champion Union in one of the two national semifinals on Thursday April 10.
The win clinched Boston College's 23rd Frozen Four appearance and 12th since 1998. The Eagles won Hockey East's regular-season championship before losing to Notre Dame, 2-1, in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Despite the early exit from the Hockey East tournament, the Eagles entered the regional as the No. 1 seed in Worcester and No. 2 overall seed in the 16-team tournament.
Freshman defenseman Ian McCoshen gave BC a 4-3 lead at 11:16 of the third period, firing a wrist shot past UML goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.
The game was tied to start the third period before UML's Evan Campbell made it 3-2 just 47 seconds into the final 20 minutes. BC freshman Ryan Fitzgerald equalized 21 seconds later. The Fitzgerald and McCoshen goals were the Eagles' first scored by players other than its top line in the regional.
"Systematically I wouldn’t change too many things," Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. "I thought we played well. I thought that was one of the better hockey games we’ve played in the last three or four. However, we came out on the short end. It was the third period that did us in.
"We were going to try to make it our game, and I think we did that for the bulk of the game. Obviously in the third period we exchanged a flurry of goals. I think if we could have plugged away after we scored to make them earn the next one other than giving it up right away, it might have been a different result.”
BC junior and Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau led the way for the Eagles with eight points (three goals and five assists) in the two games.
On Saturday, BC defeated Denver, 6-2, to advance to Sunday's final. Gaudreau recorded his first collegiate hat trick in the win over the Pioneers and added three assists. He and linemates Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes combined for eight of the Eagles' goals in the two games.
On the season, Gaudreau has 77 points (35 goals and 42 assists). He assisted on the Eagles' first two goals in Sunday's win.
"You [have] to finish on your opportunities and we had a couple flurries where we just didn’t finish," Bazin said. "It’s the same old adage when you get an opportunity against a good team, you better finish it because it could come back to haunt you, and it certainly did.”